Injunctions For Protection Against Domestic Violence: Fear Of Imminent Danger
In Florida, domestic violence is defined as any assault, stalking, battery, kidnapping, sexual battery, false imprisonment, or any other crime resulting in bodily injury or death of a household or family member by another household or family member. According to Florida law, household or family members are, among others, any current or former spouses and persons related by blood or marriage.
Domestic violence cases are taken very seriously in Florida. People convicted in criminal court for domestic violence offenses face harsh consequences. However, in addition to being able to press criminal charges, a person who is the target of domestic violence needs to have a way to protect themselves. That is why Florida law provides the option of filing for an injunction for protection against domestic violence, popularly known as a restraining order.
According to Florida Statute 741.30, a person who is either a domestic violence victim or has reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of experiencing domestic violence can petition the court for an injunction for protection against domestic violence. A party is allowed to seek this cause of action even if another cause of action is pending between them and the other party.
Fear of Imminent Danger
Florida law states that a person can seek a restraining order if they are a domestic violence victim or have reasonable cause to believe they are in imminent danger of experiencing domestic violence. So, how does the court determine if a person is justified to be of the opinion that they are in imminent danger of experiencing domestic violence? According to Florida Statute 741.30, in deciding this, the court considers and assesses, among other things, the following;
- What has happened in the past between the parties, including stalking, threats, physical abuse, and harassment
- Whether the accused has made any threats to hurt the petitioner or someone close to the petitioner
- Whether the accused has deliberately hurt or killed a family pet
- Whether the accused has made any threats to kidnap, conceal, or hurt a child or children
- The existence of another verifiable restraining order issued previously or from a different jurisdiction
- Whether the accused has ever engaged in violent acts or threatened to commit a violent act
- Whether the accused has ever made it physically impossible for the petitioner to call the police or step outside the house
- Whether the accused has used or made threats to use against the petitioner any weapons
- Whether the accused has damaged property
- Whether the accused has done anything else that warrants the petitioner’s belief
When making a decision, the court can consider and assess any other factor not mentioned above. Generally, for a judge to find that you have reasonable cause to believe you are in imminent danger of becoming a domestic violence victim, the respondent must have done something that warrants your fear.
Contact an Orlando, FL Domestic Violence Lawyer at the Arwani Law Firm
If you are a victim of domestic violence or fear that you could soon be a victim, and need help petitioning the court for a restraining order, contact an Orlando, FL domestic violence lawyer at the Arwani Law Firm. Call us at 407-254-0060 to set up a consultation with one of our attorneys who can help you with your case.